644. The rulers of the Christian churches and in consequence their subordinates, have understood by imputation in the Word the imputation of faith upon which were inscribed the righteousness and merit of Christ, which were thus ascribed to man, for the reason that for fourteen centuries, that is, since the time of the Nicene Council, they have not wished to know about any other faith. Therefore such faith alone is fixed in their memories and consequently in their minds, like a thing organized, which from that time has furnished a light like that which comes from a fire at night-time, from which light that faith has appeared like true theology itself, on which all other things hang in a linked series, and these would fall asunder if that head or pillar were removed. If therefore they were to think when they read the Word, of any other than this imputative faith, that light, together with their entire theology, would be extinguished, and a darkness would arise which would cause the whole Christian church to vanish. Therefore it is left to them,
Like a stump of roots in the earth, the tree being cut down and destroyed, until the seven times shall be accomplished (Dan. 4:23).
Who among the confirmed leaders of the present church does not, when that faith is attacked, close his ears as if with cotton against hearing anything opposed to it? But, my reader, open your ears, and read the Word, and you will have a clear perception of a faith and an imputation other than those which you have heretofore believed in.